A ghostly tale of revenge and the strength of the sisterly bond.
The four Torres sisters have fascinated the boys in their San Antonio neighborhood for years. Each with her own quirky personality, they all suffer from the suffocating hold their widower father has over them. While attempting to sneak out, Ana, the oldest, fatally falls from a tree. A year later, her angry spirit begins to haunt their home. The novel alternates between a first-person perspective by an unnamed narrator—one of the boys across the street—and the points of view of each sister, narrated in the third person. The chapters jump from past to present, dropping hints about what truly happened and why Ana is haunting her old home. The Torres sisters mourn in their own ways—Jessica tries to become Ana, even dating her abusive boyfriend; Iridian stays inside reading Ana’s romance novels; and Rosa attends church and hopes to commune with animals. The author adeptly portrays the claustrophobia of living in a small town and being under the watch of an overbearing patriarchal figure—in fact, the male gaze is the true enemy in this novel, and it’s only when the young women join forces that they’re able to break free of its oppressive ties. Mabry’s (All the Wind in the World, 2017, etc.) third novel has echoes of The Virgin Suicides. The protagonists are Latinx.
The evocative language and deft characterization will haunt—and empower—readers. (Magical realism. 14-adult)